A top US official in the fight against so-called Islamic State group has quit over President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria.

Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat IS, brought his departure forward from February.

Before Mr Trump’s announcement he had insisted that the US would continue working against IS in Syria.

Mr Trump described Mr McGurk’s resignation as a “nothing event”.
Mr McGurk’s decision to quit follows the resignation of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday.

Gen Mattis had also opposed withdrawing troops from Syria as well as reducing the US presence in Afghanistan.

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Mr McGurk, 45, is an experienced diplomat who was appointed to his current role in 2015 under the Obama administration.

In early December he told reporters: “We want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas.”

He went on to say: “It would be reckless if we were just to say, well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now. I think anyone who’s looked at a conflict like this would agree with that.”

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